IN "BROKEDOWN Palace," high college friends Alice (Claire Danes) and Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) fly to Thailand for a last hurrah before they walk to college. However their quickie holidays becomes a irreversible nightmare when neighborhood authorities arrest lock for drug smuggling.

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In a tragedy of small errors, their youthful, American invincibility is dismantled. Castle become associated with a handsome, too-good-to-be-true Australian (Daniel Lapaine), who persuades castle to accompany him ~ above a jaunt come Hong Kong.

Then, as they plank the plane, a cache the heroin is uncovered in their luggage. Suddenly, they"re branded as drug smugglers, and they"re encountering life. The tougher Alice refuses to speak to the police until she it s okay a lawyer. Yet a detective top the an ext gullible Darlene right into signing a confession worded in Thai.

The U.S. Embassy seems unable to aid them. (And you know the girls most likely aren"t getting top priority v third-tier star Lou Diamond Phillips in fee of their case.) back home, Alice"s dad (John Doe) isn"t also flush for legal assistance. And also Darlene"s affluent father (Tom Amandes), who considers Alice a poor influence ~ above his daughter, just wants to free his baby girl.

Eventually, everyone throws their cumulative faith into a lawyer known as Hank "Yankee Hank" Greene (Bill Pullman), that works v his Thai partner and also wife (Jacqueline Kim) to conserve the souls that the young and also innocent from Thailand"s kangaroo courts.

This is no a fantastic movie. However there"s more to the than simply an MTV-slickified "Midnight Express" starring 2 young, photogenic stars. Manager Jonathan Kaplan infuses the movie v atmospheric doom and gloom. And also it"s clear the screenwriter David Arata (who composed the original display story with producer Adam Fields) go his homework top top Thailand"s bizarre penal system. He also spoke with countless American women who have actually suffered similar fates.

"Brokedown Palace," which refers to the jail wherein the women discover themselves, never lets up on its victim-heroines, together Alice and also Darlene endure their incarcerated eternity. Jailers yell, guards clock menacingly from turrets and hope dwindles to nothing. You simply don"t watch this kind of inner suffering and also sacrifice in "The genuine World."

But the point that interested me many was the bill Pullman-Jacqueline Kim element. One expatriate American and his eastern wife who conserve trust fund brats native life imprisonment in Bangkok? A kind of American-Asian Nick and also Nora team? now that"s a story. But wait a minute. What was ns thinking? It"s no the story, it"s the stars that matter -- the young stars. Forgive me while i exhale like Chris Farley and also repeatedly smack my forehead. That was simply a stupid thought.

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BROKEDOWN palace (R, 101 minutes) -- consists of some nudity, rough treatment of prisoners and profanity. Area theaters.